Welcome to the virtual incarnation of my workshop where you can find out about the different aspects of my work - without disturbing me. My website http://www.basscare.se/ is being kept as simple as possible. Here is where you'll find the stuff I chat to my customers about, or stuff that I would chat to my customers about if there was more time and I was more chatty. Feel free to browse around and if you'd like to get updates in your facebook newsfeed click on 'like' at my facebook page: Elinore Morris - instrument maker www.facebook.com/Basscare. The colours of this blog attempt to match the colours of the inside of the workshop, which has been renovated with historically accurate linseed oil based paint, and you can see a snippet of the newly sanded wooden floor.

Monday, 16 May 2011

The "Nääs Effect"

I have just been to a lecture by a lady called Anna Alm who is doing her doctoral thesis on the effect Nääs had on the lives of those who took the Slöjd teachers' courses between 1880 and 1940. It was very interesting. The school (building which houses my workshop) was started by Otto Salomon, who was nephew of the guy who owned the manor house. It was revolutionary in that he introduced pedagogique into woodwork teaching in schools, whereas before woodwork classes were given to keep children occupied with hands busy by the local carpenter. He developed a step by step system of teaching which aimed to encourage independence and creativity. Form, function and aesthetic were important as well as being able to plan and make the object without help, using good posture.

The 6 week courses were co-ed, which was also new and very international. They had participants from up to 20 different countries. The Nääs method was especially popular in Britain and USA before WW1. There was a special atmosphere that make a lasting impression on the lives of those who came and they would always look back to the time with great nostalgia. It was especially empowering for women.

The interesting little coincidence that I learnt was that Otto Salomon's wife was called Ellen which is nearly my name and they named their son Axel which is also my son's name! There was a picture of him as a boy, carving away at some project.

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